EU should ditch unanimity principle – Germany
The Chancellor Scholz demanded changes to the process of accepting new members.
Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor has proposed that major EU reforms are needed in order to allow new members to join. In an interview, Scholz suggested that the EU reform be implemented to make it easier for new countries to join the bloc.
Scholz stated that the country he represents was clear during his joint visit to Kiev, France and Italy. “wants a positive decision in favor of Ukraine as a EU candidate country.”
Meanwhile, certain other EU countries, DPA noted, have set conditions for Ukraine’s status to be approved, with Austria requesting candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania seeking it for Georgia.
Scholz did not speak to DPA about these issues, but stressed the need for the bloc’s reform to make it more open to new members.
“To do this, it has to modernize its structures and decision-making processes. It will not be always possible to decide unanimously on everything that has to be decided unanimously today,”He stated.
Scholz’s remarks echoed a statement made by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who said last month that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, the EU must learn to work more robustly and effectively.
“We must move beyond the principle of unanimity, which gives rise to an intergovernmental approach based on mutual vetoes, and we must head towards qualified majority decision-making,” Draghi said.
The agreement of all 27 EU countries is needed to approve Ukraine’s much-coveted candidate status. There were reports that the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Austria might vote no against Ukraine’s candidacy due to corruption concerns and issues with the rule of law.
Moscow initially said that it wouldn’t object to Ukraine being in the EU, which, unlike NATO, is not a military bloc.
But last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that Moscow had changed its stance on the issue, explaining that the EU’s behavior during the conflict, which included weapons shipments to Kiev and a push for a military solution, indicated that the bloc was merging with NATO and becoming “an aggressive militant player that has ambitions stretching far beyond the European continent.”
Next week, the EU heads will make the final decision about Ukraine’s candidate status at their summit in Brussels.